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We have received the exciting news that CFHstalwart Donald Yerxa

(Eastern Nazarene College) has been named assistant directorof The

Historical Society. Yerxa will assume his duties officially in September, though

he has already begun to work on a few projects. As oneof two assistant

directors being hired by THS, Yerxa's responsibilitieswill include working on

HISTORICALLY SPEAKINGand assisting executive director Louis Ferleger

on special projects. He will continue to serve as the chairof Eastern Nazarene

College's History Department, though with a reduced teaching load.

Founded in 1998, The Historical Society is an organization ofover 1500

members dedicated to revitalizing the study and teaching of history.In many

respects it represents an institutional responseto the dissatisfaction of a

growing number of historians withthe fragmented, overly-specialized, and

politicized state of historical scholarship in America today. WhileTHS

sponsors national conferences and publishes both a newsletter andpeer-

reviewed journal, it is structured around numerousregional organizations

which encourage broadparticipation from historians at all levels of the


Professor Yerxa joined The Historical Society in 1999, has attended its

first two national conferences heldat Boston University, and has participated

in THS's New England Region events. "Initially, I was attracted becauseof the

quality of the scholars giving papers atthe first national conference," Yerxa

admits. "Here in my backyard was a meetingof historical luminaries that

included EugeneGenovese, John Patrick Diggins, Wilfred McClay, Orlando

Patterson, Bruce Kuklick, John Lewis Gaddis, and many more. I simply had to

attend." Not onlydid Yerxa enjoy the stimulation of first-rate historical

scholarship, but in themore intimate setting of THS he found a refreshing

openness to dialogue. "I was immediately aware that itwas not one's

academic pedigree,but one's ideas that mattered to this group. Frankly, it

was exhilarating." The mix of rigorous scholarship andfriendly interaction

has been the hallmark of all Yerxa's dealings with THS ever since. LastJune

he expressedsome of these sentiments in a BOOKS & CULTURE ONLINE

piece (www.christianityonline.com/ct/2000/125/13.0.html).